I’m looking for a reference to something I thought I read but can no longer find.
Technical people can work up to 6 hours a day on technical work.
They may be at work longer, reading email, going to meetings, getting coffee, but they can only effectively do 6 hours of technical work a day. (Yes, for short periods of up to a couple of weeks, people may be able to do more. But once they get tired or they’re not taking care of their personal lives, they can put in as much time as you want, but you won’t get nay more out of them.)
in case you’re wondering, I’ve measured this (number of technical hours of work per day) on some of the assessments I conduct. In several cases, people were only accomplishing about 4 hours of work per day (too many meetings). At the most productive places, the average was just under 6 hours per day.
Let me know if you have a source for this.
Here’s another reason for three: it kinds of “fits” into a workday. For example, you get in at 8:30, check email, pick up voicemail, do all that. Then you shut everything off and work for three hours, ’til say 12:30. Now you break for lunch. You get back at 1:30, check email, pick up voicemail, do all that. Then you shut everything off and work for another three hours, ’till say 5:00. Then you check email, pick up voicemail, play foosball, run around and bug everyone, etc. You’ve had two nice periods of time to get work done.